Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stormhaven - A city needing more info...

"Stormhaven" by Patrick Younts, published and distributed by Mongoose Publishing.

ISBN = 1-903980-22-4.  MGP # 5002.

Quick Look-see:
01) Introduction
02) Stormhaven - Overview
03) Upside - Castles in the Sky
04) Driftdowns - Pillars of Broken Dreams
05) Sailors, Soldiers, and Scoundrels
06) Sailor's Tales
07) OGL

Part 01 - Introduction.  The intro includes a one page short story, and a short intro to the book.

Part 02 - Stormhaven - Overview.  Looks at the history of Stormhaven, but leaves important background info for the GM to play with - if they want to.  There's a look at Stormhaven today, including local government, outside nations, the military, festivals, religion, and magic.

Part 03 - Upside.  A term sometimes used for Upside is "Castles in the Sky".  Upside includes a look at the "World Disk", "The Black Crown" - a place where scholars of the arcane of all types meet, The Staircase District, the Noble's Quarter, the Warehouse District, the Government District, and The Rat's Nest.

Part 04 - Driftdowns.  Far below the World Disk, lies the Driftdowns, a collection of less-fortunate souls.  Important Neighborhoods include: The Central Piers, the Dockyards, the Sailor's Sleep quarter, the Driftwood Kingdoms, and the Underdocks.

Part 05 - Sailors, Soldiers, and Scoundrels.  A few important NPC's are here, as well as five organizations, and some short info on Driftdown area guards.

Part 06 - Sailor's Tales.  This is a very short section on various rumors and legends, as well as 2 new feats, 2 new spells, and 3 new magic items.

Part 07 - OGL.  The usual Open Gaming License.

This is the second in a fairly short series from Mongoose called "Cities of Fantasy".  Mongoose has used almost every open space for info on Stormhaven.  The rather basic maps of both Upside and Driftdowns is on the inside front cover, and on the inside back cover are basic diagrams of Rat's Nest Rowhouses. an Embassy, a typical pub, a typical Driftdown Apartment building, a typical Driftwatch Storefront, a look at a basic rendering of a Fire Tower, and a diagram of Driftwatch Station. 

When they say in the intro that Stormhaven is "ripe for a game master's customization", they aren't kidding.  Stormhaven suffers from the same 64 page limitations as its earlier predecessor, "Skraag".  Some thought appears to have been given for this, but the solutions Mongoose found just aren't big enough for a book detailing a whole city.  I thought all of it could use a little more fleshing out - maybe even enough for a 128 page book.  There just doesn't seem to be enough info to "just drop" this city into your campaign.  Having said that, though, I still think enterprising GM's could supply this city with enough to last a hundred adventures.  Only three stars from me, although I =might= have given it four if it had been even 80 pages.  Not for Players.

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